Honey bee life spans are 50% shorter today than they were 50 years ago PhysOrg (Kevin W)
Maurice Sendak’s ageless imagination Artforum (Anthony L)
Book review of G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage Washington Post (Anthony L)
— T. Ryan Gregory (@TRyanGregory) November 15, 2022
Don’t think you’re working hard enough to offer good faith solutions here. Did you know that we’re resuscitating 3-4 kids at a time now? Perhaps speak to your pediatric and ER colleagues who are struggling. I don’t think we can wait for that perfect RCT. pic.twitter.com/WQkvcPgDbu
— Kashif Pirzada, MD (@KashPrime) November 14, 2022
At a birthday party and overhearing parents comment about how hospitals are full of sick kids. And that it's due to lack of exposure due to masking. The koolaid has been drunk. Only two kids and two adults are wearing masks. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. #BringBackMasks
— Minh Hiên Lê (@minhhle) November 13, 2022
9) In retrospect, it has become clear that the premature lifting of public health protections in the #COVID #pandemic — even while hospitals were still overwhelmed — allowed all these respiratory viruses to circulate freely as never before.
— Aaron Derfel (@Aaron_Derfel) November 13, 2022
New China COVID rules spur concern as some cities halt routine tests Reuters (resilc). This is so bad.
Climate change and US housing: Taxes fund disaster rebuilding cycle USA Today (resilc)
The Wrong Americans Are Buying Electric Cars Bloomberg. I don’t write these stories.
Lithium-Ion Batteries in E-Bikes and Other Devices Pose Fire Risks New York Times (David L)
President Xi Jinping Meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Biden shamelessly and repeatedly lies about US policies and actions.
To state the obvious, it means China has little trust left in the US's words.
Which is very understandable given recent history but also very worrying because if words can't be trusted then you tend to assume the worst.
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) November 14, 2022
Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China White House. As I am sure you know, “candidly” is not a positive word.
Biden-Xi lower the temperature in cooldown summit Asia Times. Showing my reflexive pessimism, but this is not how I read it. Having Biden lie yet again to Xi and not change course, which seems the likely outcome, is not going to improve matters. The US just launched a chip war, FFS. And see below re the fact that it is trying to escalate:
He says that the extra-territorialisation of US policies on China (i.e. forcing other countries to comply with them) is increasing "precisely because it is not the trajectory of everybody else's policy".
I.e. because they don't do it voluntarily, the US is coercing them into it.
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) November 13, 2022
Quadrant Magnetics, 3 people charged with giving China military info Louisville Courier Journal (resilc)
Former Tory minister lays into post-Brexit Australia trade deal Financial Times (Kevin W). We predicted that Britain would be desperate to ink post-Brexit bilateral trade deals and would therefore accept not very good terms.
New Not-So-Cold War
Biden Hails Retaking Of Kherson As CIA Chief Warns Russian Counterpart On Nuclear Threat Radio Free Europe. I have been and remain extremely skeptical of the idea that the US is offering any olive branches. Colonel Macgregor, who has insider info, said the contact the week before last by Jake Sullivan to his Russian counterparts was to threaten Russia. Macgregor was told Sullivan hinted at or may have even been more overt about the US organizing a force from NATO members. This is more of the same. Specifically, it is US saber-rattling to try to prevent Russia from launching offensive(s) once it has its 300,000+ mobilized forces in the field.
Or let us put this another way: there are enough people in the deeply embubbled Beltway who still thinks the US rules the roost, that Russia is losing the war and about to run out of missiles, and some more US weapons and management will turn the tide, that it follows that any communication with Russia = negotiation, when bullying and ultimatums are not that.
Burns reverted to the formula of warning Russia v using nukes, which some in Russia have taken as a US threat to use tactical nukes. But this is also a threat v. Russia using its soon to be considerably beefed-up forces. On top of that, you’d expect a big messaging campaign to soften up the US, UK and EU publics to the idea of ending war. Nothing of the kind happening; in fact, reporting on protests is being suppressed. From the story:
Burns underscored the consequences if Russia were to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, according to a White House National Security Council official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“He is not conducting negotiations of any kind. He is not discussing settlement of the war in Ukraine,” the White House official said. “He is conveying a message on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability.”
Oddly RFE pulled the story (I swear I found it on Wayback Machine but the germane screenshot went poof there too!) but plenty of footprints of the operative quote elsewhere (see Reuters in CIA boss talks nuclear weapons and prisoners with Putin’s spy chief and AlArabiya)
The fact that Milley told the Administration that Ukraine was at its high water mark does not mean Biden and the neocons have internalized that. They may when what Milley sees has become undeniable. Everyone seems to skip over the key paragraph in the NYT story:
But other senior officials have resisted the idea, maintaining that neither side is ready to negotiate and that any pause in the fighting would only give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a chance to regroup. While Mr. Biden’s advisers believe the war will likely be settled through negotiations eventually, officials said, they have concluded that the moment is not ripe and the United States should not be seen as pressuring the Ukrainians to hold back while they have momentum.
The Dems doing well in the midterms and Biden scoring best in polls on his handing of Ukraine will likely feed the continued denial.
The childish effort to humiliate the Russian delegation to the G20 and America’s failure to even deign to respond to Russia’s proposals in late 2021 suggests, consistent with the WaPo story about the new directive to Zelensky (to feign being interested in negotiating) that the Russians won’t take any overtures seriously, even assuming v. evidence that that is what is happening now.
Plus the West will not give Russia security guarantees that are worth a plugged nickel. Russia needs to cripple NATO and drive a wedge between Europe and the US. Having the war continue at significant cost to European citizens and commerce does that.
The problem is Putin does not like war and may quit before the job is done. The flip side is that in March, Russia did not stop prosecuting the war while it was negotiating. There’s no reason to behave differently if talks start down the road. The two sides have yawning chasm between their negotiating positions, so it won’t be hard to make this take a long time if Russia plays it that way. The Vietnam peace talks ran 3 1/2 years.
G20 leaders to agree draft communiqué rejecting ‘era of war’ Financial Times. G20 amplifies fabricated charges that Russia is planning to use nukes, save per its doctrine, which is defensively and in extremis. So it looks like the Burns meeting was timed to give a news boost to that charge.
Peskov: Kyiv cannot and doesn’t want to negotiate, SVO will continue Newsfeed. That at a minimum = if and when negotiations occur, Russia will not again play the pointless game of negotiating with Ukraine when the West can and will retrade any deal (mind you, I do not see why bother with the US refusing to remove the sanctions; if anyone in a weak moment were to entertain them, they would not get past the “shape of the table” stage). But since the US is not agreement-capable, it’s not clear why Russia would bother except to play to the Global South.
* * *
Russian Ops in Ukraine – Update: What is the Goal & is Moscow Achieving it? Brian Berletic. A theory on why Russia has not taken out the Dnieper bridges plus a generally useful discussion. Berletic also followed the war in Syria on a daily basis, and says Russian commentators then were often wildly reactive and emotional.
* * *
Note it was markedly warmer and the turn in temperatures started yesterday, but when I updated the chart, I lost that data. Site does not have history:
Recall from our post yesterday that every 5-7 Celsius fall in temperatures (9-13 degress Farenheit) = 10% more electricity demand.
BTW Kherson city appears short of power. From Ukraine’s Strana, via machine translation:
The “head” of the Russian-appointed “administration” of the Kherson region claims that the Kakhovskaya HPP has stopped generating electricity.
Yesterday there were reports about the liberation of Nova Kakhovka and Kakhovka of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but today they have been refuted.
Per Aftershock.news, RIA Novosti is reporting that the head of the Urkaine utility says Russia blew some transformers at the hydroelectric station:
RIA Novosti. An infrastructure facility that provided electricity to the right bank of the Kherson region and part of Mykolaiv region was destroyed, Vladimir Kudritsky, head of the board of the national energy company Ukrenego, said.
“It no longer exists. Two autotransformers, each weighing 250 tons, were blown up. The relay protection hall, the compressor room, the battery <...> were additionally shot and crushed,” he wrote on his Facebook page
But Russia seems to control it, so how can Ukraine be sure? Anyone with intel please pipe up.
* * *
‘Ze-len-skiy!’ Kherson crowds cheer president after he gives speech in city Guardian (Kevin W)
A shorter rant: There is much whining on Rybar about the Russian failure to try to kill Zelensky when he visited Kherson. This is the sort of thing Sun Tsu warned against: “All tactics and no strategy is the noise before the defeat.” The US and NATO are running this show, not Zelensky. Assassinating him creates a martyr, which in turn would help the Biden Administration gin up more funding beyond the $50 billion it is trying to push through before the new Congress comes in and help European leaders bolster flagging support for the war in their countries.
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Russia strategises with Iran for the long haul in Ukraine India Punchline (guurst). Important.
Top Zelensky advisor threatens war with Iran Greyzone (resilc)
Pure symbolism 😉 pic.twitter.com/TjAldkca5D
— il libanese (@Ramy_Sawma) November 13, 2022
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Russian Oil Exports Hold Up Despite Impending EU Ban Wall Street Journal
From Khrushchev’s U.S.S.R. to Putin’s Russia Atlantic. Resilc: “Soooooooooooooooooo, USA USA is basically still an unreconstructed plantation state.”
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Germans to segregate war dead RT (Kevin W)
This is what the mass grave of the Red Army soldiers looks like today, which was leveled in Kraslava region in Latvia! pic.twitter.com/SH6gGFXa5x
— Geo_monitor (@colonelhomsi) November 14, 2022
Imperial Collapse Watch
Washington Keeps Alienating Its Policy Partners Cato Institute. Kevin W: “Not to mention other major countries like India, the UAE and South Africa.”
DEA’s most corrupt agent: Parties, sex amid ‘unwinnable war’ Associated Press. Resilc: “I’m sure CIA/State loaded with doubles too.”
Republicans Want to Blame Their Election Disaster on Trump. Don’t Fall for It. New Republic. Resilc: “Good luck, trump will chew them up and shit them out.”
Trump is Still the Demon King of US Politics CounterPunch (resilc)
Why a Trump-appointed Texas judge blocked Biden’s student-debt cancellation plan Business Insider (Kevin W)
Why the War Party is the real winner of the midterms Responsible Statecraft
GOP Clown Car
A New Republican Civil War Is About to Begin New Republic (resilc)
Our No Longer Free Press
Elon Musk Picks a Fight With the Sen. Ed Markey Over Impersonation on Twitter Rolling Stone (furzy)
OPEC Oil Production Fell In October As Members Missed Targets OilPrice (Kevin W)
To reduce further cascading negative effects of FTX, Binance is forming an industry recovery fund, to help projects who are otherwise strong, but in a liquidity crisis. More details to come soon. In the meantime, please contact Binance Labs if you think you qualify. 1/2
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) November 14, 2022
Per the above, recall that FTX and Binanace were the big buyers of distressed players. The Binance tweet is an admission that there’s not enough equity in crypto-land.
FTX balance sheet, revealed FTAlphaville ZOMG!!! This isn’t a balance sheet, it’s a napkin doodle. Your pet store has more entires on its balance sheet.
FTX’s Balance Sheet Was Bad Matt Levine, Bloomberg
STEVE JOBS: PERSONALLY OWNED AND WORN BIRKENSTOCK SANDALS (WITH BOOK) – WITH NFT Julien’s Live (resilc)
University of California Strike Disrupts Classes Just Weeks Before Finals Wall Street Journal (David L)
when billionaires like Jeff Bezos say they are going to "give away all their money to charity", it's a lie. What they mean is they will give the money to their own foundations, evade taxes, and keep control over it so as to retain power. Economist Thomas Piketty explains: pic.twitter.com/X2a8rxmr05
— ☀️👀 (@zei_squirrel) November 14, 2022
Antidote du jour (Jake B):
And a bonus (Chuck L):
A mama bear carries her cubs across the road. pic.twitter.com/gA4OFTPz1i
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) November 13, 2022
A second bonus (Chuck L):
The squirrel stocked about 150 kilos of acorns inside the transmitting antenna. pic.twitter.com/lQtwzPeINY
— Jim Myers (@kd7eir) October 7, 2022
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.